Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Is WTA dropping the ball in ONP and ONF?
 Reply to topic
Previous :: Next Topic
Author Message
Waterboy
El Persperado



Joined: 09 Jul 2007
Posts: 12 | TRs | Pics
Location: In the shade
Waterboy
El Persperado
PostThu Jul 12, 2007 10:56 pm 
It is my opinion that Olympic National Park and Forest are being shortchanged by Washington Trail Association (WTA).

WTA’s new and old lists of endangered trails don’t adequately represent what is actually threatened here on the Olympic Peninsula. Call it “East Sound Bias” or what you want, but clearly (to me at least) the Olympics don’t really register either proportionally or in significance like Cascade hikes do. It’s not even close.

Case in point is the Dosewallips Trail System. Last year WTA included the Main Fork Dosewallips Trail on their list of Most Endangered Trails. That’s right – the “Main Fork”. Anyone who knows the area would say WTA picked the wrong trail to call “endangered”.  The far more popular trail that was impacted by the washout was the West Fork Dosewallips Trail that provides access to a once-popular thru hike into the Enchanted Valley and access to Mt Anderson and West Peak. WTA’s ignorance of the Olympics which was once suspect before then suddenly seemed obvious to me. To further conflate matters, there is a minor contingency of environmentalists here on the peninsula that considers road access antithetical to wilderness protection – all road access. I’m not talking about spur road decommissioning. The issue of trail access to our wild areas is being fought under our noses and WTA has acquiescing for the wrong reasons. The Dosewallips isn’t the only one which WTA doesn’t get - the Hoh River Trail now involves a recommended belay beyond Elk Lake. Was the Hoh Trail on the endangered list this year? No.

I’m curious if it’s as obvious to others as it is to me, or if I am completely full of it.  I’d really appreciate hearing all opinions on the matter.

WB

--------------
"Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting over". - Mark Twain
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Rich Baldwin
Mister Eddie



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 1685 | TRs | Pics
Location: Martinique
Rich Baldwin
Mister Eddie
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 7:14 am 
Most of what the WTA does is trail work, not publish guides. The annual threatened trails guide is part of its advocacy mission, and it is put together by a fairly small number of people. There are hundreds of trails that could be included. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to threatened trails. It makes people familiar with general issues.

Perhaps you could offer to help with next year's guide?

--------------
Was you ever bit by a dead bee?
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
xan
Member
Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 222 | TRs | Pics
xan
Member
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 10:41 am 
Waterboy wrote:

Case in point is the Dosewallips Trail System. Last year WTA included the Main Fork Dosewallips Trail on their list of Most Endangered Trails. That’s right – the “Main Fork”. Anyone who knows the area would say WTA picked the wrong trail to call “endangered”.  The far more popular trail that was impacted by the washout was the West Fork Dosewallips Trail that provides access to a once-popular thru hike into the Enchanted Valley and access to Mt Anderson and West Peak.

The West Fork Dose is  still popular. Quite popular. It´s not "once popular". Have you seen how many cars park at the current trailhead? The route  just happens to be five miles longer than it used to be. In the context of a  through hike across the Olympics that five miles doesn't change much. It's  a small bonus, that's all.

Waterboy wrote:
To further conflate matters, there is a minor contingency of environmentalists here on the peninsula that considers road access antithetical to wilderness protection – all road access. I’m not talking about spur road decommissioning. The issue of trail access to our wild areas is being fought under our noses and WTA has acquiescing for the wrong reasons.
WB

The WTA opposes rebuilding of the Dose road. You know that, right? Are you suggesting that they do not understand this issue? That they have not thought about it? That they have somehow been suckered or bamboozled by this "minor contingency of environmentalists"?  (that's "contingent", by the way, not "contingency").  I don't think so.  I think they looked at issues in this particular case. Maybe you should too.

I think I am one of these "minor environmentalists" you are talking about, and I believe you are seriously mischaracterizing the positions of people like me, if you think we are just opposing all roads without any real discrimination or judgement.

Waterboy wrote:
  The Dosewallips isn’t the only one which WTA doesn’t get - the Hoh River Trail now involves a recommended belay beyond Elk Lake. Was the Hoh Trail on the endangered list this year? No.
WB

You are seriously suggesting that the Hoh trail is "endangered"? I don't think so. Not a chance. Consider that it is a National Park, not a National Forest trail. Consider that it is a heavily used main-trunk trail, and that the Hoh visitor center, and all that "Hoh Rainforest" stuff, at the trailhead, is a premier visitor magnet for the park. You really think the Park Service is going to walk away from it? Get real.  I'm not suggesting that there are not "endangered" trails on National Park lands. Particularly lightly used, low-priority ones. The Queets, for example, I think the last few miles of that trail are probably going to get away from 'em. Just that the Hoh is a bad example, and your choice of it suggests that you haven't really thought about  it much, and don't have a good overall picture of the trail system. Which is odd, given that is precisely what you are accusing the WTA of.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
mossy mom
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2006
Posts: 1852 | TRs | Pics
mossy mom
Member
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 11:03 am 
An 11 mile round trip road walk is not a small bonus, it's a day hike.  I've dayhiked to the dosewallips trail head several times now.  Since it's all on paved road it hurts my feet and legs.  I've never been on the dosewallips trail or the constance trail or any of the other trails that are cut-off.

Backpacking is not an option for us at this point.  We may never get to hike on the trails beyond the washout.  They should at least re-open the trail on the other side of the river from the road.  Traces of the old trail are still there.

We have lost so many miles of  trails in the South Eastern Olympics thanks to Simpson Logging Company (aka Green Diamond)  We can't afford to lose anymore of them.

Hoh river trail is now a technical climb above elk lake.  Blue Glacier is now off limits to all but Mountian Climbers.  I'm glad I hiked up there before this happened.   Too bad my children will never get to go up there.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
xan
Member
Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 222 | TRs | Pics
xan
Member
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 1:21 pm 
pest wrote:
An 11 mile round trip road walk is not a small bonus, it's a day hike.  I've dayhiked to the dosewallips trail head several times now.  Since it's all on paved road it hurts my feet and legs.  I've never been on the dosewallips trail or the constance trail or any of the other trails that are cut-off.

You've walked the 5.5 miles of old road to the end and back several times, even though it hurts your feet, and you think it's paved? No, sorry. It's a dirt road. All of it. I said "bonus" in the context of an across-the-park through hike, where I think it's approprate. What's another couple of hours when you're out for three or more days?

It seems odd that you complain about walking on old roads at the same time you say that you have never walked on any of the tributary trails, such as the Constance route, which is only an hour in. I have certainly met people day hiking to Constance. And what about the Tunnel Creek/Harrison Lake trail, which starts pretty much right at the current washout trailhead?  No road walking required.

pest wrote:
We have lost so many miles of  trails in the South Eastern Olympics thanks to Simpson Logging Company (aka Green Diamond)  We can't afford to lose anymore of them.

I see nothing wrong with adding 5.5 miles of easy trail to the system if, as you point out, so much as been lost in the old Simpson "sustained yield unit".

pest wrote:
Hoh river trail is now a technical climb above elk lake.  Blue Glacier is now off limits to all but Mountian Climbers.  I'm glad I hiked up there before this happened.   Too bad my children will never get to go up there.

The Blue Glacier always *was* off limits to all but mountain climbers, unless you think that walking unroped on glaciers is a sound practice.
Probably not a concern to you either way, since you are now an avowed day-hiker.  But the current trail report off the ONP web site makes no mention of any technical obstacle before Glacier Meadows. The Park is, without doubt, committed to this trail. This is the report, in its entirety:

ONP wrote:

Trail is clear of down trees and snow to Glacier Meadows. Some campsites at Glacier Meadows still snow covered. There is a crossing before the Olympus Guard Station (OGS) that requires wading (approx.1 ft. deep).

A route has been cleared through the Hoh Lake Creek Washout. Follow Hoh Lake Trail 100 yrds, then follow reroute. Elk Lake Shelter has been destroyed by a tree. Trail is not stock-passable beyond OGS.

Avalanche chutes between Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows melted out. Tread has been worked on by trail crew. Use caution. No campfires permitted at Elk Lake or above.

Glacier Meadows still mostly snow covered.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Prince of Happiness
Fly in the ointment



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 486 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
Prince of Happiness
Fly in the ointment
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 1:28 pm 
I was wondering what the status was of that one soft, gravelly, exposed part of the Hoh River Trail before you get to Glacier Meadows. Thanks!

--------------
The Prince of Happiness
"A man who does not care about the beer he drinks , may as well not care about the bread he eats." - M. Jackson, Beerhunter as seen by my friend Anita on a sign in Helsinki
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
mossy mom
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2006
Posts: 1852 | TRs | Pics
mossy mom
Member
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 1:32 pm 
Your tone comes across as most unpleasant and you twist people's words around.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Flora
Enjoying the Sun!



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1035 | TRs | Pics
Location: Land of many waters
Flora
Enjoying the Sun!
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 2:55 pm 
Hey, be nice, guys!  This is a hiking forum not a personal attack forum!

Personally, I think doing away with the Dose road is a good thing, but that's my take...

It's good to get out and walk next to a lively river.

Flora

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13113 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 3:20 pm 
WTA schedules work parties where they can find volunteers.  Why don't you round up a few friends and give them a call.  They will be happy to schedule a work party for you.  I don't agree with some of what they do, specifically working on new trail within sight of the old trail, but they do a lot of good.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
reststep
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2001
Posts: 4698 | TRs | Pics
reststep
Member
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 4:31 pm 
I agree that the WTA does a lot of good and chances are we would have even fewer trails with out their maintenance program.

I disagree with them on the Dose Road however.  Out of curiosity who at WTA decides issues like that?  Do they have a board or something that decides what to support?

As far as I know both the forest service and the park service support reopening the Dose Road.  There is probably a long court battle ahead.  If the road ever opens back up it probably will not be in my life time.

One more thing even if they do reopen the road there is nothing to prevent someone from hiking the road if they so choose.

--------------
"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
mossy mom
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2006
Posts: 1852 | TRs | Pics
mossy mom
Member
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 4:46 pm 
Flora wrote:
Hey, be nice, guys!  This is a hiking forum not a personal attack forum!

Personally, I think doing away with the Dose road is a good thing, but that's my take...

It's good to get out and walk next to a lively river.

Flora

Then you should be all for the re-opening of the old trail that runs on the other side of the river from the road.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
mossy mom
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2006
Posts: 1852 | TRs | Pics
mossy mom
Member
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 4:54 pm 
reststep wrote:
I agree that the WTA does a lot of good and chances are we would have even fewer trails with out their maintenance program.

I disagree with them on the Dose Road however.  Out of curiosity who at WTA decides issues like that?  Do they have a board or something that decides what to support?

As far as I know both the forest service and the park service support reopening the Dose Road.  There is probably a long court battle ahead.  If the road ever opens back up it probably will not be in my life time.

One more thing even if they do reopen the road there is nothing to prevent someone from hiking the road if they so choose.

I've done the road hike three times, one time with a baby on my back.  It is a hard surface to walk on even if it is not paved and my legs and feet really can feel the difference between that road and a normal trail.

There used to be a trail "The Old Dosewallips Trail" on the other side of the river from the road, there was some talk of re-opening it.  I hope they do.

According to Bob Wood "Fifty years ago the Dosewalips River Road ended at Elhorn Camp, and the Dosewallip Trail began at that point. At the lower jumpoff, about midway between Bull Elk Canyon and the prestne national park boundary the trail crossed the river, then followed up the south side, intersected the Muscott Basdi Trail (another abandoned trail), and recrossed the river at the head of the Dosewallips Falls. "


Part of that trail was destroyed the the construction of the present washed out road.  But the section on the other side of the river can still be found.  I think that section should be re-opened

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Tom
Admin



Joined: 15 Dec 2001
Posts: 17245 | TRs | Pics
Tom
Admin
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 6:35 pm 
Quote:
Do they have a board or something that decides what to support?

From what I've seen WTA is no different than any of the other coalition partners when it comes to road closures.  They support what the coalition supports.  Group think decides.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
ScottM
Member
Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 363 | TRs | Pics
Location: The Olympics
ScottM
Member
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 7:20 pm 
The WTA does have a board and one of the board members is the Hood Canal District trails ranger based out of Quilcene.  The WTA volunteer program for the Olympics has just started to get some traction in the last few years.  It it hard to get a "volunteer base" on the peninsula.  Quite a few volunteers for the Olympics work parties come from the metro Puget Sound area and it is only in the last couple of years that I have noticed more and more, Bremerton, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Port Townsend, etc. volunteers.  Walk a trail in the Cascades and you see a multitude of people.  Walk a trail in the Olympics and you might not see anyone.  Usage mirrors the volunteer base.  As for road closures, I dusted off the old mountain bike, bought a new lock and have used it when I just don't feel like hiking that extra 5 miles.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14152 | TRs | Pics
Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostFri Jul 13, 2007 7:31 pm 
yah, if the land manager isn't amenable to a volunteer organization doing the work, it's a little difficult for that organization to enter the land and do the work (and get paid for it).

There was a recent WTA workparty on the peninsula - the Skokomish, I think.  Maybe not....but my freind Sarah was on that work party.

The Peninsula gets a lot of volunteers in April for the beach cleanup, and the National Parks Conservation Association organizes a lot of work out there as well.

WTA did Royal Basin weeklongs 2 or 3 times, and spent about 3 weeks on the Bogachiel - they were camped for 3 weeks and hosted American Youth Corps trail volunteers, I believe.

Tunnel Creek has been logged out a few times by WTA, the Duckabush Trail gets lots of WTA attention, Grey Wolf Pass trail was re-opened because of WTA efforts.  For a couple of years WTA did weekend work parties over and over and over again.

I think the Olympic Peninsula gets as much attention as any other area in Western Washington.  Perhaps not all WTA all the time, but why should it?  There are lots of resources out there for volunteerism.

Call the local ranger districts - the one in Quilcene I think might have someone you can contact for volunteer work.  I know a guy who retired out there - he and some other folks have organized themselves and work out there quite a bit.

--------------
"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
 Reply to topic
Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Is WTA dropping the ball in ONP and ONF?
  Happy Birthday slabbyd, Opus, awaygirl, cdestroyer!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum